Nick Ward

Senior Economist

Nick joined the CIE in 2014. He has worked as a professional economist for 8 years, and has a wide range of experience across: government policy and cost benefit analysis, economic research, economic modelling, developing business cases and quantitative forecasting. Nick is currently developing his skills with The CIE’s highly respected suite of general equilibrium economic models.

His recent projects include the following:

  • Framework design and impact analysis of government subsidies. Nick provided the basis of a future monitoring framework for costs in one part of the health sector by translating raw data collected by government into a tractable database, and then using the database to isolate the impact of a subsidy on costs in the sector over time.
  • Efficiency and equity analysis of different taxes. Nick used CGE modelling to compare the impact of State Government taxes on economic activity and developed a model that determined their impact on family budgets across income quintiles.
  • Benefit cost analysis of standards for tailpipe emission of new vehicles. Nick used scenario analysis to estimate the range of the cost that standards create by restricting consumer choice. This was used to the show that standards only create net benefits under certain assumptions and conditions.
  • Benefit cost analysis. Nick worked closely with staff at a Government Department to convert technical data on the impacts of an internal IT upgrade into data on the impacts of the upgrade on the Department’s customers.
  • Importance of science to the Australian economy. Nick synthesised insights from workshops that brought together some of Australia’s leading science researchers, industry consultations and other research into information that allowed him to estimate the marginal impact of recent advances in science on the Australian economy.
  • Framework for long-term forecasting. Nick developed a simple but powerful ‘3P’ forecast framework that allowed an investment banking team to easily understand and develop scenarios for long-run economic growth in Australia.
  • Impact framework for infrastructure. Nick developed a novel framework for estimating the long-run impact of infrastructure on the economy of NSW by combining insights from three distinct areas of research: the impact of infrastructure on travel time to and from residential areas, the impact of travel time (amongst other costs) on net migration, and the impact of migration, via a demographics model, on population and GDP growth.
  • Regional modelling of infrastructure investment. Nick developed a sophisticated, highly detailed model of the agriculture industry, separate mining industries and separate manufacturing industries in different LGAs in regional QLD, and used the model to estimate the impact on these industries of policy reforms, transport infrastructure investment and international prices.
  • Budgeting and business cases. Nick improved the quality of budgeting for a digital education program for pre-schoolers by working with subject matter experts to understand how the program was changing as it matured from a ‘new idea’ into an ‘established project’ and implications of this for costs.

Nick can be contacted at our Canberra office.